Thursday, August 9, 2012

Liaquat Ahamed quote

From Chapter 9 of Lords of Finance. I wish I could find the whole chapter online to post, as it is a very good one to review when thinking about the similar choices many governments are facing today. The war in this quote is referring to World War I.

“A simple analogy of the choice between deflation and devaluation might be that of the man who has put on weight and is having a hard time fitting into his clothes. He can either choose to lose the weight—that is, deflate—or alternatively accept that his larger waistline is now irreversible and have his clothes altered—that is, devalue. Whether to deflate or devalue became the central economic decision for every country after the war. The burden of deflation fell on workers, businesses, and borrowers, that of devaluation on savers. The fate of the world economy would hinge over the next two decades on which path each country took. The United States and Britain took the route to deflation, Germany and France that of devaluation. ” –Liaquat Ahamed, Lords of Finance